Quality of different hays

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Keeperofmany, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. Keeperofmany

    Keeperofmany New Member

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    I was wondering if anyone on this fourm has heard of a hay called Trefoil (sp)? Is it anywhere close to alfalfa in quality? My alfalfa pellets have just gone up to $20.00 for a 50 lb bag. :crazy I go through a bag every 4 days. I need to find something else that I can feed. Any ideas. I cannot get alfalfa hay. Maybe a hay with some alfalfa mixed in but not very much. The farmers only make barely enough for themselves. I have 2 does milking that are feeding 3 young ones. Gotta bring my costs down somehow.

    Wendy
     
  2. Rambar Ranch

    Rambar Ranch New Member

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    Trefoil is almost identical to alfalfa. We used to plant it in ground that was to wet for alfalfa. About the only difference is it flowers yellow flowers while alfalfa flowers purple ones. About identical in protein content and how it grows except trefoil likes to spread out more than go up. If you can get that in hay at a cheaper price than alfalfa buy it.

    I forgot to add that it is definitely a cooler climate grass. I live in Texas now and in no way would it grow here. We planted it for our dairy cows in NE PA.

    Ray
     

  3. Keeperofmany

    Keeperofmany New Member

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    I can get trefoil fresh cut for 2 dollars a square bale. That's what I will do then. I hope the goats don't mind the change in hay. They may not like me taking the alfalfa pellets from them though but I have to do something.Do I wean them off the pellets or can I just take them away from them.

    Wendy
     
  4. Goater

    Goater Guest

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    Yes, wean them from the alfalfa pellets. Try to never make drastic changes in their diet, it can make them sick or even kill them.
     
  5. Rambar Ranch

    Rambar Ranch New Member

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    I wish I could get fresh trefoil here for that price. Actually you can't get it for any price down here because no one grows it here. You lucked out, your goats should really enjoy it.

    Ray
     
  6. Secondairy

    Secondairy Member

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    We have a lot of clover, alfalfa (which until recently I always thought was 'purple clover' when seen growing in my yard), and also trefoil. I was told years ago that our trefoil was 'yellow crown vetch', and I thought it was a poisonous weed, because our horses ignored that just as hard as the buttercups. The remaining grasses are timothy, and broome. Some yellow nutsedge, There is this other weird thing that grows here that one old timer told me was 'summer grass'. It grows to a height of 4'-8', is light green in color near the ground, but gets darker as you go up the stems. It has a reddish seed top, slightly reminiscent of the tops of a corn plant (not Flax, although similar). I don't know what it is, but the goats love it when we cut it and feed it fresh. I HATE the stuff, its coarse with fiber, and it always binds up the weed wacker. It has already bogged down the 6.5HP lawn mower too. Even the riding mower complains when we mow it if it is over 6" in height. I found one thing online that might be it - it was called 'barnyard grass'. Our woods also include many bush honeysuckles, an invasive shrub, and the goats love them. I HATE them also...LOL!

    The goats love the trefoil, as well as everything else that grows here, however they don't like Jewelweed (probably because it is a poison ivy preventative, and they would rather have it ALL!!!), but they WILL eat it after they have eaten everything else they like better. I think we have birdsfoot trefoil, but I have never seen the hay of this available for sale. As much as the goats relish it, I would purchase this if it was available.

    Kelly :)
     
  7. Rambar Ranch

    Rambar Ranch New Member

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    Kelly, the one grass your describing sounds alot like what we used to call Reed Canary grass. It grows in wetter soil and gets huge. We would mix the seed of that in with the trefoil because they liked the same soil moisture and made a good mix.

    Ray